Last month, Microsoft confirmed the Surface Neo dual-screen laptop/tablet hybrid was postponed. The company reasoned it wanted Windows 10X to launch on single screen devices instead. Many people have since asked what Redmond has planned for the Surface Duo, the Android smartphone Microsoft announced alongside the Neo.
Some onlookers have raised concerns Microsoft will also suspend the launch of the Surface Duo. However, that seems unlikely as a new Duo emulator was released yesterday. This suggests development for the smartphone is still in full swing.
While questions about the Surface Duo were obvious once the Neo was suspended, they are two very different devices. Sure, they may look similar, but both run entirely different platforms.
Microsoft's Surface Neo is a 2-in-1 that would have debuted the Windows 10X platform. Redmond reasoned last month an innovative take on computing through dual-screen hardware was not needed. In a COVID-19 world, people need what they already know, the company argued.
That means Windows 10X will debut on single-screen hardware later this year.
Surface Duo Full Steam Ahead
Because the Surface Duo was not tethered to Windows 10X, its future still looks to be heading towards a launch. It is Microsoft's first mobile hardware device in years and adds something unique to the market. In other words, there don't appear to be reasons to delay its launch later this year.
The launch of a new emulator release seems to confirm Microsoft's commitment to the product:
“Today we're excited to release a refresh to our Microsoft Surface Duo emulator image,” Microsoft's Guy Merin writes. “It has been a few weeks since our last Surface Duo emulator image release and the team has been very busy addressing your feedback and has added several new features and optimizations.”
Developers working with the emulator get the following improvement:
- Support for using a keyboard in all posture and flip modes
- App Drawer and App searches support
- Improved Notifications support
- Improved Settings and quick settings experience to support dual screens
- Enhanced Camera experience (you can access that via the Emulator too)
Several platform improvements to better support application compatibility around rotation, resizing, full-screen, and spanning scenarios